Cactus in Friends of the Santa Rosa Mountains Parking Lot (John Fraim – 4/13)
Has the old business of payola for records in our 60s meta-morphed into film critics for $130 million dollar movies in our time? It seems like this to me with all the raving reviews of Noah by critics on Rotten Tomatoes and then a much lower audience rating on the site for the film. In effect, a 74% on Rotten Tomatoes by critics and 50% by the audience. A substantial difference.
I held myself from walking out of the film and at the same time wondered about all those film critics who were raving about it. Had the Invasion of the Body Snatchers plot enveloped all of these reviewers? What world were they on?
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Something new, different is needed today as a method for navigating our time spent on attending two hour movies. For me, the once faithful Rotten Tomatoes is becoming increasingly unreliable.
Perhaps there is a need for a key audience rating aggravator system that might be the true modern movie “reviewer” for Hollywood films?
The value of a brand that puts a rating on Hollywood films. An aggravator of reviews.
Film reviews might be the most important review in the world. Not only for the value of the product it reviews. But also of the short shelf life of this product in the fact that most films live and die within a month at the most. Reviews for this reason are even increasingly important.
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In our current years of a real lack of film critics and reviewers, we remember the great film reviewers of the past and the type of a film review literary genre they established. In effect, they were similar to that great “nose” of Robert Parker who sets rates for wines all over the world. They made it their life to see all the films coming out and to ponder all of them and then to write about the best and worst of all of this.
So my wife and I came close to walking out on Noah. And certainly not because we are religious fanatics or anything like that. We were just incredibly bored by a terrible movie. Anyone who is able to sit through the movie comes close to understanding the pain that Noah went through on trying to carry out the wishes of his Father. It’s excruciating. A terrible screenplay that develops absolutely no sympathy for any of its characters. All of the dramatic angles hitting towards the end of the film and the two daughter moment.
When products cost $130 million to make and most of that investment is made back in the first weekend. Or a few weeks. There develops a need for a media that supports these products. Through any way they can. They are the popular culture and social marketing aspect of the particular film. The $130 million investment.
What perhaps needs to be done is the creation of a film review aggravator that has a personality. Like a revived version of Roger Eggert perhaps. Or Pauline Kael in NYC. The Julia Childs of film reviews. A brand with a personality and identity much more than the Rotten Tomatoes brand. The site is ripe for not more of a gathering to the brand – pulling more eyes to it when assessing whether they want to spend time with current movies coming out – but rather an internal communion between current members of the brand. More communication within the current community rather than pulling new members into the community. Communication is always more important than communications.
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And, in the midst of the real life growth of this idea in our own work, perhaps a screenplay about the story of a new start-up firm in Silicon Valley. A film about the development of a new film review aggravator brand in the marketplace to replace the current major brand. The politics of being this brand. The dynamics between Hollywood, Madison Avenue and Washington DC. If only Harold Robbins was still with us to write all of this into a modern Carpetbaggers.